The Sun erupted with a good-sized solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME) on its far-side beyond the view of SDO, but the resulting strands of particle clouds as seen in extreme ultraviolet light still made for quite a show that lasted about three hours (Jan. 2, 2012). Note how a portion of the strands fall back to the Sun. It appears the force of the blast was unable, for some portion of the material, to overcome the pull of the Sun's magnetic fields. This blast was not directed at Earth.
Mediatype imageSource http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/multimedia/potw/potw-81.htmlLicenseurl http://www.nasaimages.org/Terms.htmlDate 2012-01-18Identifier 616477main_Burst_right_304-origAddeddate 2012-01-26 19:48:12Publicdate 2012-01-26 19:48:29